Mike Trout belts a solo home run in the eighth inning to complete the cycle… (Alex Gallardo / Associated…)
The Angels broke out the disco ball in the clubhouse, and why not? That was quite a party.
Mike Trout, the guest of honor, became the youngest player in American League history to hit for the cycle. Josh Hamilton, the birthday boy, enjoyed two rounds of serenades from the crowd. The Angels posted their most lopsided victory of the season, a 12-0 rout of the Seattle Mariners.
The fans even went home with party favors — Mike Trout pint glasses, in honor of a player of legal drinking age for all of nine months.
BOX SCORE: Angels 12, Seattle 0
They toasted him with a curtain call, the first of his career. The cycle was the first of his life — “high school, Little League, everything,” he said.
He is 21 and he has achieved so much so soon. There is so much more in his future, and no one is shy about predicting it.
“If I were a betting man,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said, “I’ve got to believe there’s another cycle in his career somewhere.”
Trout even spotted the Mariners an out. He struck out in the first inning, then singled in the third, tripled in the fourth and doubled in the sixth. As he stood in the outfield in the eighth inning, he said, he realized he was a home run from the cycle.
He decided he would not swing at the first pitch. That would be pushing it. But he got up, took two balls, then took a mighty swing. He hit the ball to right-center field, and deep.
“In that alley, at night, it’s tough to get the ball out,” Trout said.
But he did, sending the crowd into delirium and his mother to Twitter.
“One proud Mama!!!” Debbie Trout tweeted. “Standing ovation at the Big A!!! TROUTSTANDING!!!”
The Angels won their third consecutive game, scoring 12 runs for the second time in three nights. They gained a full game on the first-place Texas Rangers for the first time in 20 days.
Trout drove in five runs, and he leads the team with 34 runs batted in. His slugging percentage (.558) leads the team too, well ahead of Albert Pujols (.420) and Hamilton (.381).
Erick Aybar had two doubles before leaving because of what Scioscia called tightness in the right knee. The Angels listed him as day to day.
Jerome Williams pitched eight innings, giving up six hits and striking out six and lowering his earned-run average to 2.53. In four starts since the Angels inserted him into their rotation, he has delivered three quality starts.
Hamilton, who has heard a fair share of boos from his new home fans, on this night earned cheers with a home run and triple in his first two at-bats.
“I thought he was going to hit for the cycle,” Trout said.
Hamilton said he could not recall hitting a home run on his birthday.
He heard a couple rounds of “Happy Birthday to You” — first from the right-field bleachers, in the middle of an inning, then from behind home plate as he stood in the on-deck circle.
He turned to the fans and applauded them.
“It was awesome,” Hamilton said. “I was messing with them too. They’ll have to sing every day.”